Surveillance of surgical site infections

Lead nurse

  • Melissa Rochon  

Clinical nurse specialist

  • Carlos Morais 

In 2003, we joined Public Health England’s (PHE) coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance scheme. The scheme aims to help hospitals record data about SSIs so that they can review their practices and improve them.

One of our top priorities is to prevent infections in patients, and we have a dedicated team at the Trust who focus on this.

At the trust, our advanced nursing team looks after the surveillance of SSIs. They will do this if a patient has:

  • A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Adult or paediatric cardiac surgery
  • Cardiac or thoracic transplant surgery
  • A device implantation – such as pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators and loop systems
  • High impact intervention care bundles

Reduction success

Over the last four years, we have significantly reduced our wound infection rates. We have done this by:

  • Introducing endoscopic vein harvesting (EVH) – a procedure done as part of a CABG
  • Aseptic management of all surgical wounds – preventing the transfer of germs and infection
  • Taking a photo of a patient’s wound before they go home, which helps link acute and community care. This initiative was shortlisted for a Nursing Times award in 2015
  • Multidisciplinary teams working together to identify and target patients at high risk of SSIs. This project received the cardiothoracic Forum Gold Medal (Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery Annual Meeting, 2015)


Surgical site infection prevention video series

Our video series on surgical site infection prevention supports the implementation of recommendations in the NICE guideline on surgical site infection. It also supports relevant statements in the NICE quality standard for surgical site infection (statements 1, 5 and 6). 

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Renewed December 2019